Gravitational Waves keep rocking all of Astrophysics

❝ Cast your mind back four years, and gravitational waves were the talk of the town. On September 14, 2015, the first detection of these ripples in space-time was made by the LIGO-Virgo collaboration, revealed months later to deserved global fanfare. Now with the fourth anniversary of that discovery approaching, the field has matured dramatically with dozens of subsequent detections made—and the prospect of even more thrilling discoveries on the horizon…

❝ Including that first discovery, a total of 23 confirmed gravitational-wave detections have been made to date across three observing runs. Within those, 20 have been black hole mergers, two have been neutron star mergers, and one is the suspected first known instance of a merger between a black hole and a neutron star. Each has been exciting in its own right, but the sheer volume of detections—moving from one a month to nearly one a week, thanks to upgrades to LIGO in 2018 and 2019 that improved its sensitivity—is hugely impressive…Thanks to that explosive growth, remarkable progress is being made across multiple subdisciplines of astrophysics.

RTFA. Learn a bit more about another window opening in our view of the universe we live in.

One thought on “Gravitational Waves keep rocking all of Astrophysics

  1. Science be damned says:

    “Gravitational wave detector completed in Gifu underground” (The Asahi Shimbun Japan 10/5/19) “The KAGRA gravitational wave detector in Hida city will be the fourth of its kind in the world. A network of detectors located in distant locations is needed to simultaneously detect gravitational waves to determine their source.
    Albert Einstein predicted the existence of gravitational waves in his theory of relativity published in 1916. Direct observation of the wave would have to await a century, but it also led to the awarding of the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2017.
    The KAGRA has an accuracy that allows it to observe any change in a single hydrogen atom from a distance equivalent to that separating Earth from the sun.
    The detector is made up of an L-shaped vacuum pipe with each side measuring 3 kilometers. Laser beams will be projected into the pipe to detect gravitational waves. Scientists hope to take advantage of some features of the KAGRA to gradually improve its functions to match those of the other three detectors already in operation.
    Agreements were signed on Oct. 4 for cooperative efforts between the KAGRA facility and the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) in Washington state and Louisiana as well as the Virgo interferometer located near Pisa, Italy.”

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